Do you know why the Jeff Jensen Band is my favorite blues band of all?
Let’s face it, there are a lot of really great bands out there. When you go to see a band at a club like Darwin’s, the odds are they will be good. What makes one of them stand out from the others?
The answer is simple: personality and stage presence.
Sure, it’s important that Jeff Jensen is one of the best singers and guitar players I have ever seen, or that Bill Ruffino is a fantastic bass player, or that David Green is a great drummer. It really matters that together they perform excellent original material and a couple of dynamite covers.
But what keeps us excited to come and see them every single time they are in town is these three guys themselves. They are always friendly and open offstage, and energetic and fun to watch onstage. I love the way that Bill and Jeff move in sync at certain moments. I love knowing to watch for that moment when Jeff’s hair will fall out of its neat knot and into his face. Sometimes it is like watching theatre as much as it is listening to great music, and it is true whether you are seeing them for the first time or the twentieth or beyond.
So yes, it is personality, stage presence, and energy, but personality comes first. They know how to make the audience part of the show, to draw them in and include them, to let each person know they are part of a wonderful experience.
And that is what we had Saturday night: a full house of people sharing a great experience with Jeff, Bill, and David, three great guys who happen to be the best contemporary blues band I’ve ever heard. And, as always, Darwin’s was the perfect venue.
So go see The Jeff Jensen Band whenever and wherever you can, and when they are not touring, pick up one of the fantastic albums they have out, including the newest one, Wisdom and Decay. That will get you ready for your own shared experience with the band.